Life brings challenges that come in different shades, situations and personalities. Overcoming each of those challenges is never the same. It’s important to gain perspective when facing a new challenge and many times it takes opening our eyes to what is right in front of us. I see those challenges manifested often in the physical sense during my early morning workouts.
Getting up and going to the gym this morning was hard. I was tired and had allergies, but I rolled out of bed and sent my body the couple miles it too to do so. As I began going through my exercise routine of cardio and weights, a person caught my eye. The man right across from me had no legs. He wheeled himself up to the machine, pulled himself up with his arms and sat on the seat.
It was just as if he had legs just like I did, except he had two stubs, covered with a nylon material. With strong arms he began executing the pull-downs on the machine. He had learned how to adjust and work with what he had.
What does adjustment actually mean? Speaking with a chiropractor, he or she will tell you of a certain vertebrae that needs aligned. Talking to a mechanic, he or she may recommend you adjust your brakes. An astronomer may speak about the stars and planets aligning in a certain way.
Adjustment and alignment are terms that are often interchangeable and they are the key to overcoming challenges. There are days and years that feel like nothing lines up. Interruptions and life events burst through our days that surprise us, are inconvenient and even cause fear or anger. So how do we respond to that misalignment and overcome those challenges?
Three Mental Steps to Overcoming Challenges
Here are three steps to begin Overcoming Challenges: THANKFULNESS, HUMOR and a PLAN.
Step One: Thankfulness. Start a gratitude journal. Journaling is a great tool to encourage thankfulness and gratefulness. Just a sentence or two is helpful, focusing on what is good. Be grateful for food to eat, a place to sleep, a job. It only takes passing a street corner or makeshift tents and shelters of the homeless to encourage an attitude of gratefulness.
Step Two: Humor. Fodder for humor is often found in a daily newspaper or even on news broadcasts. Most any Starbucks or other coffee shop have plenty of print newspapers on hand. It doesn’t take long to find stories and incidents that seem so unbelievable that they are funny.Give yourself permission to laugh!
Step Three: A Plan. This may be the most difficult step for many. Feeling stuck and lost is a signal that change needs to happen. How to proceed is different for every person, but creating an achievable plan is imperative. I always encourage baby steps but this is difficult for over-achievers and type A personalities. (I understand this all too well!)Defining a passionate goal and dream is important, but achieving it only happens by starting small with consistent and targeted follow through.
You may feel stuck but there is no need to stay stuck. Feeling trapped can encourage growth, change and even new beginnings! But you have to start moving!
As I finished my workout at the gym, the gentleman without his legs was still wheeling himself around the gym, going through his set routine. The interruptions I was facing now seemed minor as I walked out with an attitude of thankfulness and renewed energy. I wish the same for you!